What ever happened to the Norwegian invasion of the Premier League (PL) in the 90’s? At one point in the 1998/99 season there were as many as 28 Norwegians signed to PL clubs. While this golden period may have long since passed, what can we expect from the current, albeit small number of Norwegians endeavouring to make a name for themselves in the PL. Markus Henriksen, Joshua King, Håvard Nordtveit, and Adama Diomndé will all be eager to make an impact this season for their respective PL clubs and so here is a brief guide about each…
Henriksen made his name playing for his local club in Norway, Rosenborg BK. He caught the eye of many scouts in Norway, before finally securing a move to the Dutch Eredivise, and AZ Alkmaar. His most impressive form was the free scoring campaign he enjoyed for AZ last season. He finished with 15 goals in league and cup, and so a move away to a higher profile league was no real surprise.
While a loan move to Hull was a little more difficult to predict, it should be a positive move for him, with permanent papers due to be signed in January. It is not least a chance for him to showcase his footballing talents on the biggest stage in club football and Hull can expect: a hard working player, a creative eye for a pass and the 187cm Norwegian is certainly capable of achieving a double figure goals total for the Tigers this season.
Another Hull player looking to make an impact is Adama Diomandé. Bought by Hull for £1.7 million in September 2015, after what was his most productive season of his career in Norway with Stabæk. Diomandé scored 17 goals in 21 appearances in the 2015 season for the Bærum based club and having actually left the club before before the season had ended, his final goal total would likely have been much more.
The former Manchester United youngster showed plenty of early promise and often caught the eye with his lightening pace and more recently his strength on the ball. An aspect of his game that often lets him down, however is his lack of composure, despite this, King will definitely continue to bring something different to his Bournemouth team.
Once touted as one of the most potentially talented defensive players not only in Norway, but Europe too, Håvard Nordtveit finally gets another chance at the Premier League. West Ham smartly completed the move in May, before perhaps Europe’s elite clubs could swoop. Signing a five year deal with the Hammers from the Bundesliga outfit; Borussia Munchengladbach.
The West London club have got themselves a very dependable defensive midfielder and one who is equally adapt at occupying the Central Defender position or indeed any other defensive role if needed. Arguably, one of his major strengths is his ball playing ability: rarely panicked, always assured on the ball, and his pass completion ratios are impressive too. The big Norwegian really found his stage in Germany and he was an almost ever present for Gladbach, he will be sorely missed by them this season.
Other Norwegians of note this season in the English league system include: Martin Samuelsen – Currently on loan at Blackburn Rovers in the Championship from West Ham. The highly promising 19 year old has a huge future at his feet: confident, Skilful, with a lethal finish, and he showed these capabilities whilst on loan at Peterborough United last season in League One. Alexander Tettey – The industrious Norwich midfielder was the leading light of Norwegians in the PL last season and will again look for more of the same, but this time in the Championship.